Paddy's Spring Festival - 2011

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Paddy Flower, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    well I'm saddened to say I played on one of the best contest performances of an orchestral work many people have ever witnessed..... many people count Bram Toveys interpretation of Les preludes one of the finest contest performances they have heard from a brass band but it didn't win.............I don't think Bram did a "orchestral interpretation" he just did a interpretation that apparently was not deemed fit to win the British Open by the judges......shame really, I thought we had walked it....
     
  2. tubaloopy

    tubaloopy Member

    Who did win? :)
    And we peddalled the start as well....
     
  3. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    The whole concept of an "orchestral" vs. brass band interpretation is surely an old fashioned one. So many fine orchestral (former band) musicians have brought their experience back to our movement in the last 40 years that I would be surprised if there were massive differences at the top level.
    I think most brass playing (and md interpretations) can be more accuratley described as good, bad, or indifferent - rather than orchestral, or not.
    It would appear that in this instance WagTheStick achieved such lofty orchestral brilliance in his interpretation that it went straight over the adjudicators heads - pearls before swine if you will.;)
     
  4. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    I think Dean did!!! I wouldn't know, i was so nervous I couldn't produce a note that quietly, didn't play till about bar 100!!!!
     
  5. andybass

    andybass Member

    Bar 150 I think Toby! X
     
  6. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    Ha ha ha....

    I was more comfortable at the back end of the piece, I know my limits!!!
     
  7. bassbone

    bassbone Member

    Personally I think that the 'required' interpretation on the day is often based on a key recording of the test piece. In this case, the new arrangement of Cellini was dedicated to Cory and I assume (although I don't know) that they recorded it. Was this the 'gold standard'?

    The Orchestral version that our performance was based on was chosen by our conductor as he felt it conveyed the emotion and intent of the music.

    We totally bought into it and are very pleased that we gave the performance we wanted to. (And our triangle player is particularly pleased to have been praised by Lynda!)
     
  8. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Did they use the word orchestral? Seems a strange thing for an adjudicator to write as orchestras play in many styles.....
     
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... especially Benvenuto ... orchestras still struggle to play it without error!
     
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Controversial.... On what do you base this assumption?

    Indeed they did. On Brass Band Classics (Vol 2.) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brass-Band-Classics-View-Cory/dp/B0009VCGMA

    I have to say, if conductors are clever enough to go and listen to orchestal recordings of the piece before embarking on the band transcription - then I'm pretty sure adjudicators are as well.....
     
  11. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I don't think it's 'clever' to listen to an orchestral recording of a piece. Actually, I happen to think that as we play in brass bands, and play brass band arrangements, then we should aim to make the most of the instruments we have and ignore what has gone before. Each interpretation will be unique in some way, and sifting through potentially quite a lot of recordings, I feel, is a waste of time.

    Any conductor, adjudicator or performer will have an idea of how the piece 'should' go...and that is the beauty of music. In a contest, this becomes even more important, since you could spend hours of your life getting your interpretation to sound like some orchestral version (even though I don't understand how the hell you interpret a brass band arrangement to sound or even emanate an orchestra), or even another brass band version - to find out that on the day, the adjudicator wanted something totally different. Better to go with a conductor who has a good idea of his own, about how a piece should sound...then at least you can't blame anyone else for the adjudicator not liking your band's interpretation.

    Also...given the fickle nature of contesting...if your band plays the very best they can play, regardless of the result, then you should come away very happy if all you were marked down on was the interpretation.

    I have played under conductors who don't have a musical idea in their heads, and rely on listening to other band's recordings/orchestral recordings etc to get the 'feel' for the music. Now, while this might work in the short term, in the long term it shows a conductor who has no confidence in his/her own ability to judge how a piece should be played...and that same conductor will often come unstuck. For example, what happens when it is a piece that no-one has played before? Or, what happens when there are so many recordings of a piece that there are choices to be made? Does inconsistency occur? I would say yes (in my experience).
     
  12. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

  13. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    Just read this article. I think it's brilliant, what are the chances of this actually happening?
     
  14. BikeBadger

    BikeBadger Member

    Wow. Have you never heard of the term/concept, "well-read"?
     
  15. andybass

    andybass Member

    It s a true story from last Friday night.small world!
     
  16. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    I knew it was true, I just couldn't believe it. Brilliant story!!
     
  17. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Surely(I would have thought), its rather narrow minded of anyone to say just listen to the brass band arrangments of any piece of orchestral music? This would surely broaden any musician's horizons if they listened to jus one version of any given score?
     
  18. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    precisely. There is a huge range of interpretations from the band world alone, all with their merits. You are doing yourself and your band a disservice as an MD in my opinion by NOT 'sifting through' orchestral recordings of an orchestral work, as it is where the roots of the piece lie.
     
  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    When analysing historical events, many history lecturers have advised me to read as many accounts as I could and formulate my own conclusions, for my own reasons. And that to me is a pretty good philosophy in any walk of life. Make up your own mind, but do it from a position of having considered as much as is available to you.

    Surely listening to as many versions of a piece as you can is a good idea? Pick the bits you like, change the bits you don't and put your own stamp on it. But it's surely easier to do that when you've already heard a number of different styles and interpretations tried. Even if you hear 12 versions that you DON'T like at least you know what you have to set out expressly to avoid. Likewise you may hear something that you like and genuinely didn't think of.

    As an MD, it also saves rehearsal time because you're not constantly reinventing the piece in front of the band. Consistensy of delivery from the players is a great asset in a contest - so the least an MD can do is - as much as is possible - give them the same.
     
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    There's a certain validity in wishing to remain 'untainted' by the interpretations of others, and hence avoiding researching what others have done before. However, it has to be backed up by a lot (a lot!) of relevant experience, and always, even then, carries the risk of simply coming over as ignorant direction. But then, brass bands have a great tradition of ******-mindedly parochial takes on pieces, and of taking great aversion to alternative readings. Case in point - at the areas in the 1st section this year, we (and a small minority of other bands too) inserted a couple of breaks into the fast 6/8 section of 'Carnaval Romain' (at letters Q and V, I think it was). These were employed for the purpose of lending clarity to the following quiet bars that was otherwise lost in the performances of bands that didn't do this, and follows well established tradition on the subject. However, 4BR, a generally reasonably well-informed and erudite body of reviewers, highlighted this point as a negative in some surprise, as did the adjudicator.
     

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